June 16, 2022 at 10:05 pm #15432adminKeymaster
6And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. 7Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. 9They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9.)
In Isaiah 11:6-9 we see unclean animals (leopard, bear, lion, wolf, cobra, and viper) living without hostility with clean animals (lamb, goat, calf, cow, ox, etc). Is this literal? Or is there a symbolic message conveyed here? In Acts 10 God leads Peter to understand that unclean animals represent Gentiles and clean animals are Jews. If this is true then the leopard, bear, lion, wolf, cobra, and viper of Isaiah 11:6-9 all symbolize Gentile people and all the prey animals like the lamb, goat, calf, cow, ox, etc being clean animals are Jews. Isaiah 11:6-9 appears to be a poetic description of peace between Jew and Gentile as we see implied in v. 13: “Judah’s enemies had been destroyed.” With Judah’s enemies destroyed (Isaiah 11:13) there is therefore peace between Jew (lamb, goat, calf, cow and ox) and Gentile (leopard, bear, lion, wolf, cobra, and viper). Judah’s enemies were destroyed because Assyria fell to Babylon and Babylon fell to Persia. Although there are typological elements here pointing to the New Covenant, contextually these verses appear to have their fulfillment in the Persian Empire’s sympathetic treatment of Jews under Cyrus the Great who allowed them to return to Israel after their exile by the Assyrians and Babylonians who were overtly hostile to the Jews. Confirming this interpretation we see the Jews returning to Israel under from exile in the following verses—which event began to occur under Cyrus the Great. In Isaiah 11:10-13 God reaches out his hand to “reclaim the surviving remnant” in Assyria, Egypt, Cush, Elam, Babylon, Hamath etc which were all the various territories of the Persian Empire:
10Then in that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious. 11Then it will happen on that day that the Lord Will again recover the second time with His hand The remnant of His people, who will remain, From Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, And from the islands of the sea.12And He will lift up a standard for the nations And assemble the banished ones of Israel, And will gather the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth. 13Then the jealousy of Ephraim will depart, And those who harass Judah will be cut off; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, And Judah will not harass Ephraim.
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